A bit of Sunday night excitement sent a BC Ferries crew at Fulford Harbour scrambling to secure lines for a retired vessel that came loose from its moorings.
The 7:50 p.m. sailing of the Skeena Queen from Fulford to Swartz Bay was delayed nearly an hour, according to BC Ferries, as that ship’s crew raced to secure the nearby Powell River Queen.
“The stern tie-up line on the Powell River Queen parted last night,” said BC Ferries public affairs executive director Deborah Marshall. “The crew on the Skeena Queen launched the rescue boat, and re-secured two stern lines.”
The bow line remained secure at all times, according to Marshall, who added there was thankfully no damage to the ferry or any other vessels in the area. The root cause of the incident, she said, was a worn line on the ship.
The Powell River Queen retired after 58 years of service Jan. 17, the last 32 of which were spent serving Quadra Island. Built in 1965, the 84-metre, 61-vehicle ferry was the oldest vessel in BC Ferries’ fleet, and was replaced by two new Island Class diesel-electric hybrid ships, the Island Nagalis and Island K’ulut’a — which will operate as fully electric vessels when charging infrastructure is complete.
Auction site IronPlanet showed the ferry for sale shortly after it was retired, with a high bid of $126,000; no purchase was disclosed, and BC Ferries officials said Monday it was still currently for sale.
The Powell River Queen has been at Fulford Harbour’s extra berth since March 10.